Minority Shareholders of Telekom Srpske Fear Privatisation Might Harm Them

30. Juni 2006, 00:00

The question of who and at what price will buy Telekom Srpske is becoming increasingly important these days

The question of who and at what price will buy Telekom Srpske is becoming increasingly important these days.

The Republika Srpska government will offer for sale a package of 80 per cent of shares. Some 65 per cent of this package belong to Republika Srpska, 10 per cent to the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and 5 per cent to the Restitution Fund. The minimum price for this package stands at EUR 450 million.

So far, Mobilkom Austria, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Serbia and several other companies from Europe and Israel have expressed interest in the privatisation of Telekom Srpske.

The overall market value of Telekom Srpske was estimated at almost EUR 512.82 million (BAM 1 billion), while the number of its shares stands at 491,383,755.

The problem lies in minority shareholders of Telekom Srpske who control 20 per cent of shares and who fear that the scenario of Telekom Montenegro might happen in Republika Srpska as well.

Telekom Montenegro was bought by Magyar Telekom, which is part of Deutsche Telekom. Both Telekom Montenegro and Telekom Srpske are combined operators for fixed and mobile telephony, while Raiffeisen Consulting was named financial advisor in both cases.

The Montenegrin government sold 51 per cent of its shares at the price of EUR 4.42 per shares, while the buyer paid EUR 2.2 for the rest of shares. This means that minority shareholders and funds received 53 per cent less than the state.

Since the Republika Srpska government did not insist that the future owner offer the remaining shareholders the same price, minority shareholders of Telekom Srpske fear they might be damaged just like the minority shareholders of Telekom Montenegro.

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